Obama collected huge sums from the Crown family.
After being screwed out of their jobs, the idiots in Iowa still voted for
the guy who did it to them. They aren't very smart in Iowa.
No, not for that again already. Caucus preparations are still weeks away.
The president flew all the way out to midcountry in his large airplane to
the Hawkeye State to talk about saving the environment and developing
green energy, which a 747 isn't. But who would ever point out such an
inconsistency if it didn't involve evil automobile chief executives in
their private jets?
Anyway, Obama went to Newton. Ring a bell? Newton, Iowa? Onetime
headquarters home of Maytag, a famous American thing that they don't
manufacture there anymore. Nor in Searcy, Ark. Nor in Herrin, Ill. Which
made even Maytag women unemployed.
Ever since 2006, one more thing that's clearly Bush's fault. No, better
yet, Bush-Cheney, Obama's evil cousin. Eight long years. All that.
So here below is what the country's new chief executive said there about
the good news he sees developing now in Newton. And hopefully elsewhere.
We have a video excerpt down there too.
-- Andrew Malcolm
Speaking of good news, click here to get automatic Twitter alerts of each
new Ticket item or follow us @latimestot
Remarks by President Obama at Clean Energy at Trinity Structural Towers,
Newton, Iowa, April 22, 2009
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you so much. Thank you, Rich, for the great
introduction. Thank you very much. Please, everybody have a seat. (UPDATE:
The prepared speech opening has been edited to reflect the additional
remarks the president inserted.)
It is good to be back in Newton, and it's a privilege to be here at
Trinity Structural Towers. I've got a couple of special thank-yous that I
want to make, because I've got a lot of old friends -- not old in years,
but been friends for a long time now.
First of all, your outstanding governor, Chet Culver, please give him a
big round of applause. (Applause.) His wonderful wife, Mari, I see over
here. She's not on the card, but -- (applause.) My outstanding secretary
of Agriculture, who I plucked from Iowa, Tom Vilsack and his wonderful
wife, Christie Vilsack. (Applause.)
We've got the attorney general of Iowa, one of my co-chairs when I ran in
the Iowa caucus and nobody could pronounce my name -- Tom Miller.
(Applause.) My other co-chair, Mike Fitzgerald, treasurer of Iowa.
(Applause.) We got the Iowa secretary of state, Mike Mauro. There he is.
(Applause.) We've got your outstanding member of Congress who's working
hard for Newton all the time, Leonard Boswell. (Applause.) And your own
pride of Newton, Mayor Chaz Allen. (Applause.) There he is, back there.
It's good to see you again, Chaz.
It is terrific to be here -- and by the way, I've got a whole bunch of
folks here who were active in the campaign, and precinct captains. And I
just want to thank all of them for showing up, and to all the great
workers who are here at this plant -- thank you. (Applause.)
I just had a terrific tour of the facility led by several of the workers
and managers who operate this plant. It wasn't too long ago, as Rich
said, that Maytag closed its operations in Newton. And hundreds of jobs
were lost. These floors were dark and silent. The only signs of a once-
thriving enterprise were the cement markings where the equipment had been
before they were boxed up and carted away.
Today, this facility is alive again with new industry. This community
continues to struggle, and not everyone has been so fortunate as to be
rehired, but more than 100 people will now be....
...employed at this plant, many the same folks who had lost their jobs
when Maytag shut its doors.
Now you’re using the materials behind me to build towers to support some
of the most advanced wind turbines in the world. When completed, these
structures will hold aloft blades that can generate as much as 2.5
megawatts of electricity – enough energy to power hundreds of homes.
At Trinity, you are helping to lead the next energy revolution. And you
are heirs to the last energy revolution.
Roughly a century and a half ago, in the late 1850s, the Seneca Oil Co.
hired an unemployed train conductor named Edwin Drake to investigate the
oil springs of Titusville, Pa. Around this time, oil was literally
bubbling up from the ground – but it had limited economic value and often
did little more than ruin crops and pollute drinking water.
Even as some were refining oil for use as a fuel, collecting oil remained
time-consuming, back-breaking, and costly, as workers harvested what they
could find in the shallow ground. But Edwin Drake had a plan. He purchased
a steam engine, built a derrick, and began to drill.
Months passed. Progress was slow. The team managed to drill into the
bedrock just a few feet each day. Crowds gathered to mock the hopeful,
foolish diggers. The well even earned the nickname, “Drake’s Folly.” But
Drake wouldn’t give up. He had an advantage: total desperation.
It just had to work. Then, finally, it did.
One morning, the team returned to the creek to see crude oil rising up
from beneath the surface. Soon, Drake’s well was producing a then-
astonishing amount of oil – perhaps 10, 20 barrels each day. Speculators
followed, building similar rigs as far as the eye could see. In the next
decade, the area would produce tens of millions of barrels of oil. And as
the industry grew, so too did the ingenuity of those who sought to profit
from it, as competitors developed new techniques to drill and transport
oil to drive down costs and gain an edge in the marketplace.
Our history is filled with such stories. The stories of daring talent, of
dedication to an idea even if the odds were great, of the unshakable
belief that in America, all things are possible.
This has been especially true in energy production. From the first
commercially-viable steamboat developed by Robert Fulton to the first
modern solar cell developed at Bell Labs; from the experiments of Benjamin
Franklin to harness the energy of lightning to the experiments of Enrico
Fermi to harness the power contained in the atom, America has led the
world in producing and harnessing new forms of energy.
But just as we have led the global economy by developing new sources of
energy, we have also led in global consumption of that energy. While we
make up less than 5% of the world’s population, we produce roughly a
quarter of the world’s demand for oil.
This appetite comes at a tremendous cost to our economy. It’s the cost as
measured by our trade deficit; 20% of what we spend on imports is the
price of our oil imports, as we send billions of dollars overseas to oil-
exporting nations. It’s the cost of our vulnerability to the volatility of
oil markets. It’s the cost we feel in shifting weather patterns that are
already causing record-breaking droughts, unprecedented wildfires, and
more intense storms.
And it is a cost we have known ever since the gas shortages of the 1970s.
Yet, for more than 30 years, all too little has been done. There’s a lot
of talk of action when oil prices are high, but then it slips from the
radar when oil prices fall. We shift from shock to indifference time and
again, year after year.
We cannot afford to do that anymore – not when the cost for our economy,
for our country, and for our planet is so high. On this Earth Day, it is
time for us to lay a new foundation for economic growth by beginning a new
era of energy exploration in America.
The choice we face is not between saving our environment and saving our
economy – it’s a choice between prosperity and decline. We can remain the
world’s leading importer of oil, or we can become the world’s leading
exporter of clean energy. We can allow climate change to wreak unnatural
havoc, or we can create jobs working to prevent its worst effects. We can
hand over the jobs of the 21st century to our competitors – or we can
confront what countries in Europe and Asia have already recognized as both
a challenge and an opportunity: The nation that leads the world in
creating new sources of clean energy will be the nation that leads the
21st century global economy.
America can be that nation. America must be that nation. And while we seek
new forms of fuel to power our homes and cars and businesses, we will rely
on the same ingenuity – the same American spirit – that has always been a
part of our American story.
This will not be easy, and there are no silver bullets. It will take a
variety of energy sources, pursued through a variety of policies, to
drastically reduce our dependence on oil and fossil fuels. As I’ve often
said, in the short-term, as we transition to renewable energy, we can and
should increase our domestic production of oil and natural gas. We also
need to find safer ways to use nuclear power and store nuclear waste.
But the bulk of our efforts must focus on unleashing a new, clean energy
economy that will begin to reduce our dependence on foreign oil, cut our
carbon pollution by about 80% by 2050, and create millions of new jobs
right here in America.
My administration has already taken unprecedented action toward this goal.
This work begins with the simplest, fastest, most effective way we have to
make our economy cleaner, and that is to make our economy more energy
efficient. California has shown it can be done; while electricity
consumption grew 50% in this country over the last three decades, in
California, it remained flat.
Through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we have begun to
modernize 75% of all federal building space, which has the potential to
reduce long-term energy costs by billions of dollars on behalf of
taxpayers. We are providing grants to states to help weatherize hundreds
of thousands of homes, which will save the families that benefit about
$350 each year. That’s like a $350 tax cut.
Consumers are also eligible as part of the Recovery Act for up to $1,500
in tax credits to purchase more efficient cooling and heating systems,
insulation, and windows in order to reduce their energy bills.
And I’ve issued a memorandum to the Department of Energy to implement more
aggressive efficiency standards for common household appliances, like
dishwashers and refrigerators. Through this step, over the next three
decades, we’ll save twice the amount of energy produced by all the coal-
fired power plants in America in any given year.
We are already seeing reports from across the country of how this is
beginning to create jobs, as local governments and businesses rush to hire
folks to do the work of building and installing these energy efficient
And these steps wills spur job creation and innovation as more Americans
make purchases that place a premium on reducing energy consumption.
Businesses across the country will join the competition, developing new
products and seeking new customers.
In the end, the sum total of choices made by consumers and companies in
response to our recovery plan will mean less pollution in our air and
water, reduced costs for families and businesses, and lower reliance on
fossil fuels which disrupt our environment and endanger our children’s
Energy efficiency, however, can only take us part way. Even as we are
conserving energy, we need to change the way we produce energy.
Today, America produces less than 3% of our electricity through renewable
sources like wind and solar. Meanwhile, Denmark produces almost 20% of
their electricity through wind. We pioneered solar technology, but we've
fallen behind countries like Germany and Japan in generating it.
I don’t accept that this is the way it has to be. When it comes to
renewable energy, I don’t think we have to be followers; I think it’s time
for us to lead.
We are now poised to do exactly that. According to some estimates, last
year, 40% of all new generating capacity in our country came from wind. In
Iowa, you know what this means. This state is second only to Texas in
installed wind capacity, which more than doubled last year alone. The
result? Once shuttered factories are whirring back to life here at
Trinity; at TPI Composites where more than 300 workers are manufacturing
turbine blades; and elsewhere in this state and across America.
In 2000, energy technology represented just one-half of 1% of all venture
capital investments. Today, it’s more than 10%.
The recovery plan seeks to build on this progress, and encourage even
faster growth. We are providing incentives to double our nation’s capacity
to generate renewable energy over the next few years – extending the
production tax credit, providing loan guarantees, and offering grants to
spur investment in new sources of renewable fuel and electricity.
My budget also invests $15 billion each year for 10 years to develop clean
energy including wind power, solar power, geothermal energy, and clean
And today I am announcing that my administration is taking another
historic step. Through the Department of Interior, we are establishing a
program to authorize – for the first time – the leasing of federal waters
for projects to generate electricity from wind as well as from ocean
currents and other renewable sources.
This will open the door to major investments in offshore clean energy.
For example, there is enormous interest in wind projects off the coasts of
New Jersey and Delaware and today’s announcement will enable these
projects to move forward.
It is estimated that if we fully pursue our potential for wind energy on
land and offshore, wind can generate as much as 20% of our electricity by
2030, creating as many as 250,000 jobs in the process. As with so many
clean-energy investments, it’s win-win: good for environment and great for
Yet, even as we pursue renewable energy from the wind and the sun and
other sources, we also need a smarter, stronger electricity grid to carry
that energy from one end of this country to the other. That’s why we are
making an $11-billion investment through the recovery plan to modernize
the way we distribute electricity.
And as we’re taking unprecedented steps to save energy and generate new
kinds of energy for our homes and businesses, we need to do the same for
our cars and trucks.
Right now, two of America’s iconic automakers are considering their future
and facing difficult challenges. But one thing we know is that for
automakers to succeed in the future, these companies need to build the
cars of the future. Yet, for decades, fuel economy – and fuel economy
standards – have stagnated, leaving American consumers vulnerable to the
ebb and flow of gas prices, and leaving the American economy ever more
dependent on the supply of foreign oil.
We must create the incentives for companies to develop the next generation
of clean energy vehicles – and for Americans to drive them.
That is why my administration has begun to put in place higher fuel
economy standards for the first time since the mid-1980s – so our cars
will get better mileage, saving drivers money and spurring companies to
develop more innovative products. The recovery act also includes $2
billion in competitive grants to develop the next generation of batteries
for plug-in hybrid cars.
We’re planning to buy 17,600 American-made, fuel-efficient cars and trucks
for the government fleet. And today, Vice President Biden is announcing a
Clean Cities grant program through the Recovery Act to help state and
local governments purchase clean energy vehicles, too.
My budget also makes unprecedented investments in mass transit, high-speed
rail, and in our highway system to reduce the congestion that wastes
money, time, and energy. And it invests in advanced biofuels and ethanol,
which, as I’ve said, is an important transitional fuel to help us end our
dependence on foreign oil while moving toward clean, homegrown sources of
And while we are creating the incentives for companies to develop these
technologies – we are also creating incentives for consumers to adopt
these technologies. The Recovery Act includes a new tax credit of up to
$7,500 to encourage Americans to buy more fuel-efficient cars and trucks.
In addition, innovation depends on innovators doing the research and
testing the ideas that might not pay off in the short run – or at all –
but when taken together hold incredible potential over the long term. That
is why my Recovery plan includes the largest investment in basic research
funding in American history. And my budget includes a 10-year commitment
to making the Research and Experimentation Tax Credit permanent – a tax
credit that returns two dollars to the economy for every dollar we spend.
And this is only the beginning.
My administration will be pursuing comprehensive legislation to move
toward energy independence and prevent the worst consequences of climate
change – while creating the incentives to make clean energy the profitable
kind of energy in America.
The fact is, we place limits on pollutants like sulfur dioxide, nitrogen
dioxide, and other harmful emissions. But we haven’t placed any limits on
carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. This is called the carbon
Last week, in response to the U.S. Supreme Court, the EPA determined that
carbon dioxide and other tailpipe emissions are harmful to the health and
well-being of our people. There is no question that we have to regulate
carbon pollution; the only question is how we do so.
I believe the best approach is through legislation that places a market-
based cap on these kinds of emissions. Today key members of my
administration are testifying in Congress on a bill that seeks to enact
exactly this kind of market-based approach. My hope is that this will be
the vehicle through which we put this policy in effect.
Here’s how a market-based cap would work:
We would set a cap on all of the carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases
that our economy is allowed to produce in total, combining the emissions
from cars and trucks, coal-fired power plants, energy-intensive
industries, and other sources.
By setting a cap, carbon pollution would become like a commodity. It would
have a value as a limited resource. To determine that value, much like any
other traded commodity, we’d create a market where companies could buy and
sell the right to produce a certain amount. In this way, a company can
determine for itself whether it makes sense to spend the money to become
cleaner or more efficient, or to spend the money on a certain amount of
Over time, as the cap on greenhouse gases is lowered, the commodity would
become scarcer – and the price would go up. Year by year, companies and
consumers would have greater incentive to invest in clean energy and
energy efficiency, as the price of the status quo became more expensive.
By closing the carbon loophole through this kind of market-based cap, we
can address in a systematic way all the facets of the energy crisis:
lowering our dependence on foreign oil, reducing our use of fossil fuels,
and promoting new industries right here in America.
And as we pursue solutions through the public and private sectors, we also
need to remember that every American has a role to play. You know, when I
suggested during the campaign that one small step Americans could take
would be to keep their tires inflated, it became political fodder for the
But I do not accept the conventional wisdom that suggests that the
American people are unable or unwilling to participate in a national
effort to transform the way we use energy – that the only thing folks are
capable of doing is paying their taxes. I disagree. The American people
are ready to be part of this mission.
For example, if each of us replaced just one ordinary incandescent light
bulb with one compact fluorescent, that could save enough energy to light
3 million homes. And that’s just one small step.
Finally, this is a global problem, and it will require a global coalition
to solve it. Our climate knows no boundaries; the decisions of any nation
will affect every nation. Next week, I will be gathering leaders of major
economies from around the world to talk about how we can work together to
address this energy crisis.
It is true that the United States has been slow to participate in this
kind of a process. But those days are now over. We are ready to engage –
and we are asking other nations to join us in tackling this challenge
together, including those nations that have not been quick to act.
All of the steps we have taken in just these first three months represent
perhaps more progress than we have achieved in three decades. We are
beginning the difficult work of reducing our dependence on foreign oil. We
are beginning to break the bonds of fossil fuels. We are beginning to
create a new, clean energy economy – and the millions of jobs that will
flow from it.
Yes, there are those who still cling to the notion that we ought to
continue on the current course. That government has neither the
responsibility nor the reason to address our dependence on energy sources
that undermine our security, threaten our economy, and endanger our
But there is also a far more dangerous idea – the idea that there is
little or nothing we can do. That our politics are broken, our people
unwilling to make hard choices.
Implicit in this argument is that somehow we have lost something
important. That perhaps as a result of the very prosperity we have built
over the course of generations, we have given up that fighting American
spirit, that sense of optimism, that willingness to tackle tough
challenges – and the determination to see those challenges to their end.
I reject this argument. I reject it because of what you are doing right
here at Trinity. I reject it because of what I have seen across this
country, in the eyes of the people I’ve met, in the stories I’ve heard, in
the factories I’ve visited, in the places where I’ve seen the future being
pieced together – test by test, trial by trial.
Will it be easy? Of course not. There will be bumps along the road. There
will be costs for our nation – and for each of us as individuals. There is
no perfect answer to our energy needs – and all of us will have to use
energy more wisely. But I know that we are ready and able to meet these
challenges. All of us are the beneficiaries of a daring and innovative
past. I am confident that we can be – that we will be – the benefactors of
a brighter future.
That can be our legacy. A legacy of vehicles powered by clean renewable
energy traveling past newly opened factories; of burgeoning industries
employing millions of Americans in the work of protecting our planet; of
an economy exporting the energy of the future – instead of importing the
energy of the past; of a nation once again leading the world to meet the
challenges of our time.
Thank you, God bless you, and God bless the United States of America.